Now that the holidays are over many of us are making plans for summer vacations and weekends away. During these cold months we dream of somewhere, anywhere warm and tropical. This is a great time to also make plans for the ministry couples in your church to attend a Standing Stone retreat.
A Standing Stone retreat consists of one ministry couple spending a week (yep, you read that correctly) with one mentor couple. During the course of the week there is much discussion about ministry, marriage, and building margin into our daily lives. There is also food (lots and lots), fun, and fellowship. Relationships are forged that will last a lifetime. While a ministry couple might initially be reluctant to go away with strangers at the end of the week they are so glad that they did. Their marriages are strengthened, their bodies and spirits have been refreshed, and they feel encouraged and eager to jump back into their ministries at home. Of course it doesn’t hurt that many of our host homes are in warm and tropical locations.
Here are a few quotes directly from ministry couples that have attended a Standing Stone retreat:
“In one week we have been able to experience so much fun, yet also be nurtured in ways we both desperately needed. Thank you for caring for us so sincerely and for making us feel cherished and valuable.”
“God wanted to show His love, kindness, wisdom, and goodness to us at this critical point in our lives. We needed a place and space to take a breath, be in awe, lick some wounds, and find some rest.”
“For the first time my wife was able to connect with someone who really understands the daily stress of the expectations our congregation puts on her and our family.”
We had one pastor and his wife attend a retreat at the beginning of a three month sabbatical. They were close to leaving the ministry entirely and desperately needed a break. They found that and so much more during their week long retreat. Today, nearly two years after attending his own retreat, that pastor and his church board are making it possible for each ministry couple in their large church to attend a Standing Stone retreat in 2015.
Attending a Standing Stone retreat is not a vacation, though there is plenty of time for fun in the sun. Rather, attending a retreat is a preventative measure. Instead of waiting until your pastor or the spouse is so frustrated, overwhelmed, discouraged, burnt out, and ready to walk away from ministry take the initiative now to send your pastor and spouse on a retreat. Talk with your church board members and make plans for later in the year. You’ve got the time, now make something happen. A healthy shepherd helps create healthy congregations. Healthy congregations can have a lasting impact on their communities.
Want more information? Contact Standing Stone Ministry directly at standingstoneministry.org and partner with us to care for your ministry leaders!